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What do you put in your burger meat?

I just grilled yesterday- I added diced onion, jalepeno, pepper, garlic and worcestshire (sp) sauce. Threw on some pepperjack and it was delish. What do you add and what tips do you have for grilling? Do you add egg in to keep it together?

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    1. Here's an even longer list of topics:

      Good lord, NO egg! This isn't a meat loaf :-).
      I avoid fresh veggies mixed with the meat - too much water interferes with browning both meat and veggies. If you must, use small amounts of dried spices and finely minced herbs.

      1. I have lately used a recipe from epicurious--search on jalapeno cheeseburger. There is onion and jalapeno and a few other things in the meat, a glazing sauce, and a sauce that goes on the bun. I find it really savory and delicious. Sharp cheddar. Actually, it is similar to what you added!-but no egg.

        1. No egg, no worcestershire sauce... I want a burger not a meatloaf patty. Rarely I'll add finely minced onion and a few times I've added minced bacon or just bacon fat (only if i have to use lean meat), but I like a "normal" burger. Just ground chuck, loosely formed into patties, liberally salted and grilled or griddled till medium rare, add a slice of cheese and you're golden...

          4 Replies
          1. re: ESNY

            i'm with ESNY, simple is better. typically nothing more than salt & pepper for me unless i'm making some sort of regionally-inspired gourmet burger. and eggs are for meatloaf only.

            i don't even bother with the cheese most of the time - i want to taste the meat, and it has to be rare...which is why i never order burgers in restaurants - they won't cook them that way for me!

            1. re: ESNY

              Exactly...nothing but salt and pepper on top. Burger purist.

              1. re: ESNY

                Ditto - 80/20 with pepper only. The other stuff can go on top but nothing should hide the meat.

                1. re: ESNY

                  Count me in with the rest of you on 80/20 with salt and pepper. But rather than straight S&P, we often like Montreal seasoning (S&P and a little bit more). Must be rare and I just love cheese, but I can live without it...rare is not negotiable, tho'!

                2. Salt & pepper and butter.

                  Either take a ball of meat and put in a pat of butter...or take two patties and form them around a pat of butter. Trust me, it makes a juicy and delicious burger. Or if I'll add tiny cubes of butter and mix that into the meat and then form that into a patty.....but your burger will have lots of little holes.

                  The burgers turn out so incredibly moist that way, but I also eat my burgers as rare as possible (usually raw in the middle) so that could also help

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bitsubeats

                    Sounds like you follow the Paula Deen method. That woman is decadent!

                    1. re: bitsubeats

                      I go with the pat of butter with tarragon in the middle, a tip I picked up at the "21Club", where the burgers are $25. I thought "I can do this at home, for less." Maytag blue and a slice of red onion makes it a symphony.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Great tip about the tarragon - I also do the pat of butter in the middle.

                    2. honey bbq sauce, garlic, and a little basil. mush it all up and bake it in the oven at 350 in little single-burger foil cups in a baking dish. yum.

                      1. Sometimes I will scramble an egg and add a tablespoon or so of Lipton dry onion soup mix and let the onion rehydrate for several minutes, then mix in the beef.

                        Here's a link to my post on jalapeno burgers

                        1. Ground Brisket with a little grey salt, pepper and duck fat.

                          1. everglades seasoning. maybe some worcestershire.

                            1. In my burgers i add worcester sauce for flavor, garlic salt, sometimes italian seasoning (in small amounts) and recently shredded potatoes, onions, and shredded carrots

                              1. I put in a little bit of ground lamb. Not enough to taste lamby, just enough to deepen the flavor.

                                1. I always get rave reviews on my burgers. I just use ground beef, salt and pepper. I add water to the ground beef before I form the patties. I try to handle the meat as little as possible.

                                  Sometimes I add blue cheese to the meat before cooking. I got the water trick from these boards and never looked back. Great tip.

                                  If I want extra flavor, I add it as a condiment or topping. I like to keep things simple with the meat and it always ends up being the star.

                                  1. I always used to make rissoles and just call the 'hamburgers' (with egg and breadcrumbs and chopped vegetables and lots of seasonings) but the first time I made them for DH he had a fit. He likes his burgers PLAIN - 80 or 85% lean ground beef handled as little as possible and put straight into a hot pan, then I sprinkle them immediately with onion and garlic powder, a little powdered oregano, and a few drops of worchestire sauce, with salt and pepper of course. He doesn't know everything that goes on them but he knows they taste good! lol

                                    1. Nothing inside. Season with Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning, and some kosher salt. And don't squish the meat trying to form a perfect patty. The less handling, the better. Nothing worse than a hockey puck on a bun.

                                      1. This may be heretic thinking, but jfood uses some water and Montreal seasoning.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: jfood


                                          could you explain the water thing please? last time i browned some ground beef I couldn't believe the amount of water that came out of it (a quarter cup from 2 pounds of beef). it's not like I'm using ground beef from dry aged meat

                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                            Some stores add water to the meat to increase weight for charging the customer more. Jfood bought some ground beef at costco and it gave off enough water to choke a horse. Although jfood likes their steaks and short ribs, he would never buy ground beef there again for the reason you described.

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              Interesting, usually I buy my meat at costco, but this particular batch came from the local grocery store, and I was wondering if they watered it down since it had so much more water than the costco meat i usually use.

                                              At first I thought it might be fat, since the grocery store is 80/20 while costco is 88/12 (which is what I have gotten used to.) But after pouring it off into - appropriately enough- an empty spam can, I chilled it and was surprised at how much water there was.

                                              I wonder how much water "should" come off ground beef?

                                              But getting back to my main question. I presume you add water to keep the meat moist during cooking. How do you know how much is enough? Is this only for when you grill it, or always?

                                              As for what flavorings if any I put in my burgers.... uhhhh... huh? Hamburgers are made of hamburger. Even McDonald's knows that much.

                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                jfood only grills his burgers, even living in CT, he shovels an area outside the back door even when snowing (that's the white really cold crap from above for you lucky dogs where you live).

                                                To your question. It depends a little. For one pound he adds about a 1/4 cup and mixes in. Then you just get a feel since you do not want it too moist.

                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  You are SUCH a good boy! I've never understood people who refer to a "season" for grilling. We grill in the snow, the rain, we grill all the time. But we do heat it up longer in the winter. Oops, time to grill.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Our grill in on the roof. And it is used year-round here in the center of Boston. After a large winter storm, it takes two to open the skylight door, find and uncover the grill, and then someone (not me!) needs to endure the winds whipping across the rooftops (the grill is chained to the railing so it doesn't blow off) just to cook. All for grilled hamburgers, fish or chicken.

                                                    I'm happy it's spring.

                                                    1. re: alwayscooking

                                                      Good girl. If we make it to Boston this summer, I wanna check out that rooftop.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        You're certainly invited! It's best in the summer when all the flowers are in bloom - we have dinner up there watching the sunset and then the brightening lights of the skyline.

                                        2. Usually just salt and pepper, but sometimes garlic powder sprinkled on the outside, and sometimes goat cheese or a small piece of mozzarella on the inside.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            Ooh, nice touch to stuff with cheese. I like this idea!

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              Yeah, I forget where I read about it but it was called an "Inside-Out Burger". :-)

                                          2. I grind my own chuck (7 blade is my fave). Nothing else. Prior to grilling, I sprinkle a tiny amount of s&p. Grill about three minutes a side - pretty rare. Add a slice of cheese after turning. Sometimes grill some onion slices at the same time. We have over and undercooked then at times and they're still perfection. We'll never order a burger out again.

                                            1. Just some finely diced onion, bacon salt, a splash of milk (Keeps it moist)
                                              Used to use egg thinking it was keeping it together...grew up with egg method, now use milk and it's terrific.
                                              Have tried the butter burgers..with worchestershire, onion cayenne..and they are good as well...moist

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: easily amused

                                                I wonder why home-grinding produces incredibly moist burgers (they tend to fall apart on the grill if not handled carefully) with no help needed from other ingredients.

                                              2. For each pound of ground beef:

                                                1 small onion, diced
                                                1 slice of bread soaked in milk, squeezed of extra milk
                                                1 egg

                                                Only way to cook a burger is on a grill. And to medium rare. Lightly toast bun. Add lettuce, tomato, special sauce.

                                                Serve with a side of oven roasted fries/


                                                1. I never mix anything with the meat but I always sprinkle some Worcestershire on both sides. I think it enhances the beef flavor. Sometimes, I like a lump of blue cheese inside. If cooking indoors, I may sprinkle smoked salt into the hot pan before adding the burger. Other times, I have sprinkled regular salt into the pan. I like fattier meat, like 25%, so no need to add butter! I make my patties quite thick, and serve med rare to rare. There is nothing worse than a dry burger, unless it is one that has the texture of meatloaf.